Provence - Luberon
France Bike Tours
Cycle in France in the amazing Rhône Valley
This Provence bike tour starts in Avignon. Having been the home of popes and the capital of Christendom during the 14th century, Avignon has long been a treasured cultural center, and continues to boast great artistic successes (such as the famed Festival d'Avignon, the largest in all of France). This fortified city has retained much of its papal history and beauty, which is most evident in the immaculate and majestic Palais des Papes. This famous 14th century Gothic palace (the largest in Europe) is a marvel of white granite and filled with story-telling frescoes.
Leaving Avignon, the landscape becomes a maze of gently rolling hills and sprawling vineyards that bask in the valley's rich sunlight. You will discover many of the places that Peter Mayle described in his famous "A Year in Provence", small charming villages such as Menerbes, Lacoste, Lourmarin or Vaugines. Continuing the bike in Provence you will pass though wide farming plains with their typical provencal houses callaed "Mas", stony plateaus where lavender and sage grow with the limestone and golden cliffs as backdrops!
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2019 Option A Option B April and Oct. £ 987 $ 2,188 € 1162 $ 1751 NOK 10942 kr 10100 $ 1,313 £ 1064 $ 2,358 € 1252 $ 1886 NOK 11790 kr 10883 $ 1,415 Single supplement: £ 257 $ 569 € 302 $ 455 NOK 2844 kr 2625 $ 341 £ 330 $ 731 € 388 $ 585 NOK 3654 kr 3373 $ 438 May, June, Aug., and Sept. £ 1048 $ 2,324 € 1234 $ 1859 NOK 11620 kr 10726 $ 1,394 £ 1142 $ 2,531 € 1344 $ 2025 NOK 12656 kr 11682 $ 1,519 Single supplement £ 253 $ 561 € 298 $ 449 NOK 2806 kr 2590 $ 337 £ 342 $ 759 € 403 $ 607 NOK 3795 kr 3503 $ 455 July 1 to July 21 £ 1090 $ 2,416 € 1283 $ 1933 NOK 12082 kr 11152 $ 1,450 £ 1436 $ 3,183 € 1690 $ 2546 NOK 15914 kr 14690 $ 1,910 Single supplement £ 286 $ 635 € 337 $ 508 NOK 3173 kr 2929 $ 381 £ 619 $ 1,373 € 729 $ 1098 NOK 6865 kr 6337 $ 824 July 22 to July 31 £ 1090 $ 2,416 € 1283 $ 1933 NOK 12082 kr 11152 $ 1,450 £ 1161 $ 2,575 € 1367 $ 2060 NOK 12873 kr 11882 $ 1,545 Single supplement £ 286 $ 635 € 337 $ 508 NOK 3173 kr 2929 $ 381 £ 347 $ 770 € 409 $ 616 NOK 3851 kr 3555 $ 462
Please not that prices are valid when the entire tour is taken during time frame.
Electric bike rental: £ 45 $ 100 € 53 $ 80 NOK 499 kr 461 $ 60
Tandem bike rental, discount: £ 48 $ 105 € 56 $ 84 NOK 527 kr 487 $ 63
Recumbent bike: On request
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
† Currency exchange rate set 90 days before travel.
Fly to Avignon or Paris.
From Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, take the TGV to Avignon, 3-4 hours depending on connections.
From Paris city, take the TGV from Paris Lyon station to Avignon.
Average high/low temperatures in degrees F for the region are: March, 59°/41°, April, 67°/45°; May, 74°/51°; June, 82°/58°; July, 87°/61°; August, 87°/60°; September, 78°/57°; and October; 68°/49°.
Tandem bicycle available upon request. Roadbooks and maps must be returned and end of tour.
This bike tour in France is considered moderate to verging on difficult with rolling hills and several steep climbs of varying altitude differences. The heat in the summer can add to the diffuclty level. Daily distances are from 25 to 40 mi. (from 16 to 50 mi. with options). Day 4 & 6 can be used as a day of rest. Regarding difference in heights that are indicated, the total value is the sum of the difference during the day.
Where You’ll Stay
Option A: 5 nights in 3 star, 2 night in 4 star hotels
Option B: 3 nights in 3 star hotels, 4 nights in 4 star hotels
- Hotel accommodation for 7 nights
- Breakfasts & most 3-course dinners (see Not Included)
- VTC light weight 24 gear hybrid bicycle equipped with luggage rack, rear pannier bag, front pannier, water bottle, and lock
- Accessories including odometer, repair kit, road book, preloaded GPS, handlebar bags (one set per booking)
- Helmet rental (must be reserved in advance)
- Luggage transportation
- Train transfer Day 7 Cavaillon to Avignon
- Local tourist tax
What’s Not Included
Extra nights in Avignon possible by request.
Day 1: Arrival in Avignon.
Day 2: Avignon - Fontaine de Vaucluse, 26 or 35 mi. (42 or 57 km)
Day 3: Fontaine de Vaucluse - Apt, 28 mi. (44 km)
Day 4: Day of rest; optional cycling, 16, 25 or 40 mi. (25, 40 or 64 km)
Day 5: Apt - Lourmarin, 27 mi. (43 km)
Day 6: Day of rest; optional cycling, 32 mi. (51 km)
Day 7: Lourmarin - Cavaillon, 27 mi. (43 km), Train to Avignon, 20 min.
Day 8: Departure from Avignon.
All distances are approximate. Regarding difference in heights that are indicated, the total value is the sum of the difference during the day.
DAY 1: Arrival in Avignon
Individual arrival in Avignon followed by a free afternoon in the city. In the evening, an introductory meeting and distribution of additional tour materials will take place. Meeting is possible every day from 3 - 5:30 pm (except on Sunday). In the event of late arrival on weeknights, the meeting is possible the next day in the morning at 9 am. Do note that the office is closed on Sundays so arrival on Sundays will have the meeting on Monday morning at 9 am sharp. If you are planning on a Saturday arrival, be sure that you are able to arrive in time for a meeting that day!
During the check-in at the hotel in Avignon:
Clients receive tour packet including a map indicating how to reach Provence Bike. The receptionist will phone our local partner so that the time of welcome meeting can then be fixed.
DAY 2: Avignon - Fontaine de Vaucluse, 26 or 35 mi. (42 or 57 km), +/- 280 meters or +/- 600 meters of climbing.
Today, two itineraries are suggested and you can choose between the shorter or longer route. Riding toward the East you will leave Avignon behind. First you will see farming plains with lots of fruit trees, then the landscape changes as you come near the "Plateau des Monts de Vaucluse". Then you will see small villages on top of cliffs with their old castles in the middle. You will soon reach the famous "Fontaine de Vaucluse" and its village on the edge of the river. Night in "Fontaine de Vaucluse". Hotel without swimming pool.
DAY 3: Fontaine de Vaucluse - Apt, 28 mi. (44 km), +/- 702 meters of climbing
The route today leads toward Luberon. (Villages such as Oppède le Vieux, Ménerbes, Lacoste and Bonnieux were often described in Peter Mayle's famous "A Year in Provence"). In this region, you too will discover these "jewels" nestled on the bottom of the hills. Many typical Provencal cafés will tempt you! Via a country road, the day finishes close to Apt to spend the evening in a hotel with a swimming pool. Altitude difference for today is ± 240m.
DAY 4: Day off with optional cycling
Different itineraries are suggested:
a) Discovery of Roussillon and its surroundings, about 15 mi. (25 km) and +/- 300 meters of climbing
The village of Roussillon is built on a rock atop a plateau surrounded by golden cliffs. All the houses are colored with the natural ochre and is a wonderful sight for the eyes - the soft colors give a real unity to the village from where the view is absolutely fantastic.
b) Roussillon and Gordes villages, 25 mi. (40 km) and +/- 533 meters of climbing
Gordes is a village with houses made of stones and a great castle. Beautiful view over the Luberon and the "vallée du Rhône" toward Avignon. From here, you'll go to Roussillon. This tour gives you the opportunity to see a windmill.
c) The "Colorado Provencal" and the forgotten villages, 40 mi. (64 km) and +/- 918 meters of climbing (for the more experienced riders)
A large detour to discover the Colorado ochre and its chimneys red, yellow or white. Next you'll cycle along small roads through quiet villages where children play in the streets. Possibility to taste honey and nougat.
DAY 5: Apt - Lourmarin, 27 mi. (43 km), +/- 701 meters of climbing.
Today's journey will take you to the protected area of the Luberon. Depending on the season, you'll be astonished by the beautiful colors of the blue rosemary, the red poppy and the white flowers on the cherry trees. En route, you can admire the different shapes of the stone houses known as Bories. Next will be a trek down the southern side of the Luberon with a soft landscape reminiscent of Tuscany where you'll come across pretty villages such as Lourmarin. The night will be spent in or close to Lourmarin; hotel has swimming pool. Altitude difference for today is about 500m.
DAY 6: Lourmarin, day of rest or cycling, 32 mi. (51 km), +/- 680 meters of climbing
This loop will give you the opportunity to go all the way down to the southeast of the "Grand Luberon". On the way, you'll see several old castles, testimony of a rich past in Provence. A must-see is the famous castle of Le chateau d'Ansouis. Night spent in Lourmarin.
DAY 7: Lourmarin - Cavaillon, 27 mi. (43 km), +/- 357 meters of climbing. train to Avignon
The La Durance River flows down south of Luberon before joining the Rhône, south of Avignon. Via small roads, you will then cycle either on the riverside or on the farming plains side where you'll encounter lots of farming gardens, such as the famous "Cavaillon melons". In view will become the small part of the Luberon that is 700m higher and which offers great vistas of its bright white cliffs. The cycling portion of the tour will end at the Caviallon train station (S.N.C.F.) from where you'll take the train (with your bike) to Avignon.
DAY 8: Departure from Avignon
This Provence bike tour will end in Avignon following breakfast.